Not Vital. IR
The Museum der Moderne Salzburg mounts the Swiss artist Not Vital’s (Sent, CH, 1948) first solo exhibition at a museum in Austria. The sprawling presentation features twenty-one sculptures, three expansive installations that take up entire rooms and walls, and a hundred and forty-four drawings.
The exhibition’s title is a word from the artist’s native Romansh language: ir means to go. It speaks to a defining principle of Not Vital’s creative practice, which is energized by the perpetual tension between departure (leaving), return (homecoming), and fresh departure.
Not Vital has built a reputation as an artist-nomad driven by a passion for exploring far-flung places and setting up new homes and sites of production. This obsessive urge to, as it were, situate his art in a global framework and his fascination with other cultures and ways of life have guided him on a five-decade-long peripatetic quest around the world. Over the years, Vital has established studios in Brazil, Chile, China, Italy, and Niger; shuttling between them, he lives in a place for months at a time, working with local craftsmen and immersing himself in their cultures and traditions.
The exhibition was accompanied by a publication in German and English.